Featured Project

Yellowknife, NWT
Key Services
  • Removal of contaminated soil
  • Development drill and blast operations
  • Highwall rock stabilization
  • Civil work including gabion basket retaining walls, drainage sumps, and surface water collection

The Giant Mine is one of several mining sites situated in Northern Canada that are part of the Northern Contaminated Sites Program, funded through the Northern Abandoned Mines Reclamation Program. More than five decades of mining operations left behind contaminants, most notably, arsenic.

This project was initiated to construct drill pads above underground chambers that contained arsenic waste contamination, the drill pads will facilitate the installation of technologies that are used to freeze groundwater deep within the former mine and enable to containment of arsenic contaminated materials.

Milestone played an integral role in the formation of a joint-venture partnership, DJRM First Nations Construction (DJRM), to conduct the work.  DJRM is a majority-owned Indigenous joint venture, made up of four companies: Denesoline Corp., J&S Construction, RTL Construction, and Milestone.

Key Challenges
  • Operating within a northern Canadian remote community during a pandemic lockdown, impeding in-person interactions and local labor recruitment.
  • Executing blasting operations in an area with delicate infrastructure.
  • Navigating and persevering through challenging winter conditions.
Key Solutions
  • To address the pandemic lockdown, Milestone explored alternate local Indigenous companies for labour support, provided virtual training to new recruits and PPE and sanitation facilities to all workers on site.
  • In a collaborative effort, DJRM partnered with a subcontractor (Tetra Tech) to safeguard sensitive infrastructure, encompassing fish-bearing streams, subterranean support structures, bridges, and operational facilities. This was achieved through meticulous monitoring and testing procedures prior to the commencement of full-scale blasting operations.
  • To navigate challenging winter conditions, planning was done to shorten shifts and add more warmup break. Loading and blasting events were planned accordingly.

Indigenous Engagement


Actively pursue large-scale project opportunities in Northern Canada that contribute to the socio-economic advancement of Indigenous communities via collaborative joint-venture partnerships.


Establish a unique majority owned Indigenous joint-venture that draws on the capabilities of four distinct speciality service companies and their respective experts.


Mineral exploration in remote communities is not a matter of simply showing up, digging a few holes in the ground, and setting up shop. Similarly, cultivating partnerships and winning bids in Indigenous communities is not as straightforward as showing up with an excavator. It requires time, patience, and extensive research to understand the unique values, resources, and culture of a specific community.

Milestone is committed to building relationships with local communities and companies and was proud to be an integral part in the formation of DJRM First Nations Construction (DJRM), a majority-owned Indigenous joint venture that combines the experience and expertise of Denesoline Corp., J&S Construction, RTL Construction, and Milestone. This partnership now has substantial experience and capacity to tackle extensive projects, like the Giant Mine remediation; and is able to pursue future projects of similar size.

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